Missing mother back in county Ex-Finksburg woman is charged with abducting son in '90

August 25, 1998|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Eight years after losing a bitter custody battle in Circuit Court and fleeing the state with her 5-year-old son, a former Finksburg mother was back in Carroll County last night to face kidnap charges.

Sharon Elaine Wimperis, 50, was arrested Aug. 5 on a federal warrant at her apartment near Detroit by FBI agents. She was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution for parental kidnapping.

Federal marshals escorted her yesterday to Maryland, where she was turned over to state police and taken to Westminster to appear before District Court Commissioner Emmett V. Jones last night.

Wimperis was charged on two abduction counts, one for harboring her son within the state and one outside the state. She is being held without bail at the Carroll County Detention Center, pending a bail review hearing today.

Under Maryland law, the maximum penalty for a noncustodial parent abducting a child is one year in jail, said Tracy A. Gilmore, deputy state's attorney for Carroll County.

According to a story in the Detroit Free Press on Aug. 7, Wimperis' son Adam, now 13, was taken into custody by juvenile authorities in Belleville, Wayne County, Mich., after his mother was arrested.

The boy was held overnight at a home for abused, neglected or abandoned children, and after a hearing in Juvenile Court, he was released to the custody of his father, William Wimperis of the 2400 block of Carzil Drive in Finksburg.

Attempts to contact Mr. Wimperis were unsuccessful.

Gilmore said she had been in contact with Mr. Wimperis, who said he does not want to speak publicly at this time.

According to court records in Carroll County and newspaper accounts in Michigan, Sharon Wimperis became convinced that William Wimperis, then her fourth husband, had sexually abused their son.

She moved out of the Finksburg home in 1989 and sought custody in lengthy divorce proceedings.

William Wimperis steadfastly denied the allegations.

After hearing doctors' testimony for both sides on whether the child had been assaulted, Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. awarded custody to the father, saying no evidence proved the allegations.

In 1993, Sharon Wimperis briefly came out of hiding in an unnamed city and told the Washington Post in a copyrighted story that she feared the FBI was closing in on her.

She said Burns' decision had given her no alternative but to protect her son by abducting him during a four-day visitation in June 1990.

Mother and son have lived in hiding since.

State police and FBI investigators sought her over the years, but she said she used false names to avoid being found.

Until this month, the last official trace of mother and son was June 21, 1990, when her abandoned car was found in Towson.

When questioned by investigators, relatives, neighbors and friends repeatedly insisted they had not heard from her and had no idea where she and Adam were.

Her mother, Dorothy Quigley of Towson, told The Sun last week that she had had no contact with her daughter or grandson in eight years.

Pub Date: 8/25/98

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